Hanging from the beams of a makeshift workshop behind Ryoko Kurosu’s beauty salon are thousands of traditional ornaments the hairdresser has created from scratch — colorfully embellished fabric figurines that are testament to the power of perseverance in the face of seemingly irreparable calamity.

Each decoration carries a specific meaning, explains the cheerful septuagenarian, donning a gray kimono-style jacket.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.